The “lost” Hebrew Version of Matthew,
The DuTillet version of Matthew is taken from a Hebrew manuscript of Matthew which was confiscated from Jews in Rome, in 1553. On August 12th, 1553, at the petition of Pietro, Cardinal Caraffa, the Inquisitor General, Pope Julius III signed a decree banning the Talmud in Rome. The decree was executed on September 9th (Rosh HaShanna) and anything that looked like the Talmud, that is, anything written in Hebrew characters was confiscated as the Jewish homes and synagogues were ravished. Jean DuTillet, Bishop of Brieu, France was visiting Rome at the time. DuTillet was astounded to take notice of a Hebrew manuscript of Matthew among the other Hebrew manuscripts. DuTillet acquired the manuscript and returned to France, depositing it in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. It remains there to this day as Hebrew ms. No. 132.
While most scholars have ignored the DuTillet Hebrew version of Matthew, Hugh Schonfield stated his opinion that this Hebrew text underlies our current Greek text. Schonfield writes:
….certain linguistic proofs … seem to show that the Hebrew
text [DuTillet] underlies the Greek, and that certain
renderings in the Greek, may be due to a misread Hebrew
(An Old Hebrew Text of St. Matthew’s Gospel; 1927, p. 17)